As Jensen’s stylish new Touring-designed Interceptor hit showrooms, the firm announced a highly sophisticated companion model developed in conjunction with Ferguson Research Ltd. The new Jensen FF (standing for Ferguson Formula and notably, not badged an Interceptor) featured both permanent all-wheel-drive and Dunlop Maxaret antilock brakes, and it was hailed as it was the world’s first pure road car with AWD and ABS brakes, predating the Audi quattro by fourteen years. While the FF was about four inches longer than the Interceptor to accommodate the new drive system, there was little to differentiate the two, besides the twin vents in the front wings, a revised front grille, and subtle “FF” badging. The transfer case and specialized Dunlop brake servo meant that only right-hand drive was possible, which limited appeal outside of the UK, as did the price – some 30% more expensive than an Interceptor. Those factors, combined with its prodigious thirst from Chrysler’s 6.3-liter (383-cubic inch) V8, meant Jensen built just 320 between 1966 and 1971. While the FF may have been a commercial failure, it is a significant car in history, predicting technology that is now commonplace on even the most basic commuter cars.
This 1969 FF stands out from the approximately 180 known survivors as the only example fully restored and updated to Series 4 specs by the Jensen factory. Following the marque’s revival by Ian Orford in 1983, Interceptor production resumed with the ‘Series 4,’ and Jensen Parts & Service offered works-backed service and restoration work for existing owners. As a 1969 model, this car is officially a Mk II, and it was first registered in the UK on the 2nd of January, 1970, to Mr. D. A. Wilks of Solihull. Five years later, it moved to the Isle of Man and was registered as MAN106F, which was later changed to 47 MN. In the mid-1980s, it came into the care of Mr. Hubert Bauer of Germany.
In his quest for an ostensibly new FF, Mr. Bauer immediately sent it to Jensen Parts & Service for a complete rebuild and update to the latest Series 4 specification. At the works, the body was stripped, and any corrosion was replaced with new panels. Jensen added new doors to incorporate the latest safety-designed door handles, and the shell was resprayed inside and out in white. Concurrently, works technicians fit a brand new, fuel-injected MoPar 360 cubic inch V8 that was lighter and more powerful than the old 383. They also rebuilt the FF’s AWD drivetrain, renewed the ABS brakes and electrics, and fitted new parts wherever possible. The interior was entirely overhauled with the latest Series 4 dash and retrimmed in beautiful dark blue Vantagefield leather. While there was never an official Series 4 FF coupe, this car is the closest anyone has ever come to it.
In 1990, it returned to the UK, where it remained until 2000 when the most recent owner, a devoted Jensen enthusiast from the USA, acquired it. By that time, it had been resprayed to a high standard in its current bright silver and otherwise beautifully maintained since its factory rebuild. After more than twenty years of continuous ownership, the unique Series 4 FF is in excellent condition thanks to meticulous care and maintenance, with stacks of receipts documenting its care.
The body has pleasingly crisp lines, consistent panel fit, and excellent paintwork. It is adorned with correct badging and trim, and it rolls on works-fitted S4 alloy wheels, which are subtly color-keyed to the body. The big doors open with satisfying precision and reveal the plush, leather-trimmed cabin. The front seats are remarkably comfortable, with an excellent driving position. There’s a massive boot beneath the distinct domed rear glass, with more than enough room for your luggage on a long-distance tour. Instruments, controls, and the leather-wrapped steering wheel are all correct fitments for the Series 4, and equipment includes electric windows, air conditioning, and modern Bluetooth-enabled radio.
Under the bonnet, the 5.9-liter Chrysler V8, fitted by the factory in 1987, is tidy and well detailed. Receipts show it was rebuilt while in the most recent owner’s care and updated with high-performance cam, valvetrain, aluminum intake, Edelbrock carburetor, and Sanden air conditioning compressor for more efficient operation. Many of the original components, including the A/C compressor and fuel injection system, are included in the sale should the next keeper wish to return it to its original spec.
Extensive documentation includes MOT certificates, receipts, and correspondence from Jensen detailing the car’s transformation and current service and maintenance records, factory service booklet, owner’s manual, and much more. It has appeared in numerous prestigious concours events, including Meadowbrook and St. Johns, and remains wonderfully suited to show or touring enjoyment.
As the only known FF restored at the factory and with a fascinating history in the hands of marque devotees, this stylish and technically advanced Anglo-American hybrid would be a most welcome addition to any enthusiast’s stable.
Offers welcome and trades considered